Ncuti Gatwa, the actor who has been chosen to portray the next incarnation of The Doctor on Doctor Who, has shared his emotional reaction to Sylvester McCoy’s welcome message. It has been officially revealed that Gatwa, best known for his role as Eric in Sex Education, will be taking over the Time Lord role from Jodie Whittaker when her tenure ends later in the year. The confirmation has ended months of speculation about who would play the next version of the character, with the next Doctor rumored to be Hugh Grant, Olly Alexander, Lydia West, and even former star David Tennant.
Though Gatwa’s name was absent from most conversations about who would be Whittaker’s replacement, the announcement has been greeted with universal enthusiasm. The actor will no doubt draw in a huge, younger audience thanks to his time on Netflix’s Sex Education, and is expected to bring a lot of attention back to the series, which has been struggling with a decline in ratings over the past few years. The start of Gatwa’s time on the long-running sci-fi series will also coincide with the return of former Doctor Who showrunner Russell T. Davies to the helm. Davies was responsible for the revival of the series back in 2005 and led the show until Tennant’s Tenth Doctor was replaced by Matt Smith, overseeing what is regarded by many Doctor Who fans as the show’s Golden Age.
Now, in a video originally posted to Instagram, Gatwa has responded to the supportive response to his casting offered by Doctor Who‘s Seventh Doctor, Sylvester McCoy. McCoy had previously recorded a video giving Gatwa his congratulations, in which he welcomed Gatwa to the group of actors who have also played the Time Lord. In response, Gatwa said that the support of McCoy, as well as the support he has received from previous Doctors and other cast members, “filled him with the strength that I will be able to [take on the role].” Check out the video below:
The interaction between the two actors is a display of heartwarming shared affection and camaraderie, serving as a reminder that though Doctor Who began its run almost 60 years ago, only a handful of actors have taken on the iconic role. Gatwa’s response also acknowledges that he will be adding to the contribution of Scottish actors before him, like McCoy himself, as well as Tennant and Peter Capaldi. However, above all, it shows Gatwa’s eagerness and excitement at the prospect of taking over as the famous Time Lord and crafting his own take on Doctor Who.
Despite this excitement, Whittaker still has one feature length Doctor Who episode left to go before her time as the Thirteenth Doctor concludes and she regenerates. Nevertheless, the fact that the actor is still in the post hasn’t prevented a huge amount of celebration and attention being focussed on Gatwa’s casting. Now his role has been confirmed, the speculation about who might take on the role of Gatwa’s Doctor’s companion has begun. With several months still to wait before Gatwa makes his much anticipated debut as The Doctor, audiences can only wonder what will happen when the actor kicks off a whole new era of Doctor Who.